A-5305, OCTOBER 20, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 391

A-5305: Oct 20, 1924

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- DEPENDENT MOTHER OF ARMY OFFICER THE DEPENDENCY OF A WIFE IS PRIMARILY A LIABILITY OF HER HUSBAND. WHERE AN AFFIDAVIT BY THE MOTHER OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY SHOWS THAT HER HUSBAND WAS UNEMPLOYED BUT FAILS TO SHOW THE CAUSE OF HIS UNEMPLOYMENT OR HIS FINANCIAL CONDITION OR INCOME OR ABILITY TO EARN AN INCOME DURING THE PERIOD OF HER ALLEGED DEPENDENCY. IT HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT SHE FOR SAID PERIOD WAS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE PAYMENT TO THE OFFICER OF RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES BY REASON OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER. 1924: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT FOR $37.20 SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES AND $40 RENTAL ALLOWANCES PAID TO FIRST LIEUT.

A-5305, OCTOBER 20, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 391

RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE--- DEPENDENT MOTHER OF ARMY OFFICER THE DEPENDENCY OF A WIFE IS PRIMARILY A LIABILITY OF HER HUSBAND, AND WHERE AN AFFIDAVIT BY THE MOTHER OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY SHOWS THAT HER HUSBAND WAS UNEMPLOYED BUT FAILS TO SHOW THE CAUSE OF HIS UNEMPLOYMENT OR HIS FINANCIAL CONDITION OR INCOME OR ABILITY TO EARN AN INCOME DURING THE PERIOD OF HER ALLEGED DEPENDENCY, IT HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT SHE FOR SAID PERIOD WAS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE PAYMENT TO THE OFFICER OF RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES BY REASON OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 20, 1924:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. M 7359- W, DATED JUNE 5, 1924, ACCOUNTS OF CAPT. FRANK J. KEELTY, FINANCE DEPARTMENT, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT FOR $37.20 SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES AND $40 RENTAL ALLOWANCES PAID TO FIRST LIEUT. JAMES C. WHITE BY REASON OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1 TO AUGUST 31, 1922.

CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 628.

FROM AFFIDAVITS EXECUTED BY THE MOTHER ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE IT APPEARS THAT DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION SHE WAS 47 YEARS OLD AND IN GOOD HEALTH; THAT HER HUSBAND WAS APPROXIMATELY 51 YEARS OLD; THAT SHE HAD AN ADULT SON, EDWARD H. WHITE, WHO AT THAT TIME WAS A CADET IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY (HE IS NOW A SECOND LIEUTENANT IN THE AIR SERVICE OF THE ARMY); THAT SHE HAD A MINOR SON IN SCHOOL; THAT HER MOTHER WAS LIVING WITH AND WAS DEPENDENT UPON HER; THAT SHE OWNED NO PROPERTY EXCEPT ABOUT $1,500 WORTH OF PERSONAL PROPERTY AND $200 IN BANK; THAT HER HUSBAND WAS UNEMPLOYED, AND THAT DURING THE SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO THE AFFIDAVIT (NOVEMBER 10, 1922, TO MAY 10, 1923) HIS INCOME WAS LESS THAN $200; THAT SHE WAS HOUSEKEEPING IN A FLAT AND RECEIVED $40 A MONTH FROM THE SUBLETTING OF ROOMS; THAT HER OFFICER SON CONTRIBUTED $100 A MONTH TO HER SUPPORT; AND THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES

THE MOTHER'S AFFIDAVITS FAIL TO SHOW WHETHER THE HUSBAND'S UNEMPLOYMENT WERE $120 A MONTH. WAS DUE TO HIS HEALTH, INABILITY TO FIND WORK, OR TO A CONDITION OF FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE. THEY ALSO FAIL TO SHOW HIS FINANCIAL CONDITION.

THE MOTHER SWEARS THAT THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF $100 A MONTH "WERE NECESSARY FOR MY MAINTENANCE" AND "APPLIED SOLELY TO MY SUPPORT" AND THAT HER AVERAGE MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES WERE $120. THE OFFICER'S SON STATED IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 5, 1924, TO THE FINANCE OFFICER, SIXTH CORPS AREA, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * MY MOTHER'S INCOME OF $40.00 PER MONTH WAS DERIVED BY SUBLETTING THE BEST ROOMS OF HER APARTMENT FOR WHICH SHE PAID A MONTHLY RENTAL OF SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS. OUT OF THE ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER MONTH WHICH I CONTRIBUTED TO HER SUPPORT, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HER TO MEET THE BALANCE OF HER RENT (THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS), PROVIDE FOR A HELPLESS HUSBAND, AN AGED MOTHER, A THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD SON IN SCHOOL, AND HERSELF.

IT THEREFORE APPEARS THAT THE $120 WHICH THE MOTHER SWEARS TO BE HER AVERAGE MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES WAS IN FACT THE LIVING EXPENSES OF THE ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD OF FOUR PERSONS, AND THAT THE CONTRIBUTIONS WHICH THE MOTHER SWEARS WERE "APPLIED SOLELY TO MY SUPPORT" AND "WERE NECESSARY FOR MY MAINTENANCE" WERE IN FACT USED FOR THE SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE FOUR PERSONS.

IN VIEW OF THE ABSENCE OF ANY SHOWING IN THE AFFIDAVITS AS TO THE PROPERTY AND ASSETS OF THE HUSBAND AND AS TO HIS INCOME AND ABILITY TO EARN AN INCOME DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION IT CAN NOT BE HELD THAT THE MOTHER WAS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT; THE LEGAL LIABILITY OF HER HUSBAND FOR THE SUPPORT OF HIS WIFE CAN NOT BE OVERCOME BY MERE SUGGESTION.